CLEBURNE (CBSDFW.COM) – It is not often that people celebrate a traffic alert, but the cities of Cleburne and Fort Worth will be doing just that this weekend. That is because a major portion of the brand new Chisholm Trail Parkway is finished and almost ready for drivers. The newly built highway opened Friday with a ceremonial rope cutting.

The route stretches almost 28 miles long, from Fort Worth to Cleburne and took 50 years to plan.

Work along the roadway is not complete though. Thousands of trees still need to be planted, and some sculptures are waiting to be installed. The flyovers and access ramps at Interstate-20 and Interstate-30 will also see some construction work up until the late summer or early fall. Still, the main lanes of the Chisholm Trail Parkway will be open, which is great news for drivers and area businesses.

However, the main lanes of the Chisholm Trail Parkway will not be ready for cars until Sunday. The new road will first open for pedestrians and bicyclists as part of the weekend’s opening festivities, which include a 5K, half marathon and a bike ride.

Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said that his city has been preparing for the new roadway for several years. He expects it to spur major growth within his city, possibly even doubling the size of the community over the next 10 years. “It’s a game-changer,” Cain said.

Speaker at the grand opening event echoed that sentiment, saying this toll road could be what helps spark development in these two counties.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg for what we’re going to see to the Southwest. The regions together, the fourth largest metropolitan region in the nation we will do great things. Already we are seeing a lot of development,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

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